World’s Largest Passenger Aircraft Lands at World’s Busiest Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport officials and Korean Air celebrate arrival of Airbus A380 with a water cannon salute and aircraft tour
ATLANTA – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport celebrated the arrival of Korean Air’s Airbus A380 today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a water cannon salute. The double-deck, four-engine A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft. In order to accommodate the plane’s size, the airport widened two runways and three taxiways by more than 855,000 square feet and installed new passenger loading bridges. With its arrival, Atlanta becomes only the fourth U.S. city to offer A380 service to Asia.
“The arrival of the Airbus A380 underscores the prominence of Atlanta as a gateway city and a competitor in global markets,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. “We’re pleased that Korean Air has chosen to introduce travelers to its A380 service to Seoul.”
Following the ceremony, guests toured the inside of the aircraft. Highlights of the Korean Air A380 include an exclusive prestige-class area on the upper deck, a duty-free boutique, two self-service bars, and a sit-down lounge with bartender service. Korean Air currently operates A380 service between Atlanta and Asia on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The airline will begin daily A380 service to Seoul in October.
“We’ve spent several months making a number of enhancements to airport facilities in preparation for the arrival of the world’s largest aircraft,” said Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Louis Miller. “We see these improvements as part of the growth process inherent in being the world’s busiest airport.”
"Our A380 flight is a game changer for the region," said Korean Air Americas Marketing V.P. John Jackson. "We now offer service to Asia from Atlanta that no one else can meet. Our aircraft is roomier, quieter and more comfortable than any other serving the Southeast. Our traffic between Atlanta and Seoul has been growing at 10 percent per year and it makes good sense to invest in markets that are showing long-term growth.”
Korean Air’s A380s also boast fewer seats, which provides more space per passenger. The Korean Air A380 has only 407 seats—compared to more than 450 seats on other carriers’ planes—with 12 luxurious Kosmo First Class suites and 301 Economy Class seats on the lower level, and 94 lie-flat sleepers spaced six feet apart upstairs.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest airport, serving more than 95 million passengers annually with nonstop service to 160 U.S. destinations and nearly 70 international destinations in more than 45 countries.
The Airport is a frequent recipient of awards of excellence for concessions, operations, architectural engineering and construction – including the 2013 Global Efficiency Excellence Award from the Air Transport Research Society (for more information, go to www.atrsworld.org), 2013 Project of the Year, Architectural Category for the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal from the American Association of Airport Executives Southeast chapter (for more information, go to www.secaaae.org ) and the 2012 Best Airport in North America, Business Travel Award from the Business Traveler Magazine (for more information, go to www.businesstravelerusa.com ). ATL is undergoing more than $6 billion worth of capital improvements, which include a new, energy-efficient rental car center, a gold LEED certified international terminal which opened to the general public on May 16, 2012 (for more information, go to www.atlanta-airport.com/internationalterminal/) and aesthetic and functional upgrades to its concourses, people movers and parking services. For more information, go to www.atlanta-airport.com. Check out the Airport’s YouTube
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